Moccasin man

Dean Guernsey • Staff Photographer • The Bulletin

Rainbow Eagle Dreamer, co-founder of Wildheart Dreams in Bend, makes buckskin moccasins.

Ever wonder about the sign on your right as you're driving north on U.S. Highway 97 that says ”Gloves for Hides”? We stopped at McLagan's Taxidermy, asked what it meant and were told that you do indeed get a pair of gloves if you bring in an animal hide. These days, the gloves are from China — not from the hides themselves, as they were years ago. But people do still bring animal skins in, and artisans do make things from them. That's how we met Rainbow Eagle Dreamer.

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To finish the tanning process, he stretches the deer hide on a frame and works the skin with a beveled staking tool to stretch and soften it.
Rainbow Eagle Dreamer, co-founder of Wildheart Dreams, makes buckskin moccasins. Here he sorts through piles of deer hides at McLagan's Taxidermy in Bend to find the best candidates for tanning, hides with few holes.
Dreamer applies a solution of deer brains and water to the deer hide to add oil and lubricate the fibers.
Rainbow Eagle Dreamer runs along the river trail in a pair of running moccasins that he made.
Dreamer applies a solution of deer brains and water to the deer hide to add oil and lubricate the fibers.
Rainbow Eagle Dreamer, co-founder of Wildheart Dreams, makes buckskin moccasins. Here he sorts through piles of deer hides at McLagan’s Taxidermy in Bend to find the best candidates for tanning, hides with few holes.
He stitches the deer skin moccasins at his home in Bend.
Dreamer's finished pair of running moccasins.
Ever wonder about this sign on your right as you're driving north on U.S. Highway 97? We stopped at McLagan's Taxidermy, asked what it meant and were told that you do indeed get a pair of gloves if you bring in an animal hide. These days, the gloves are from China — not from the hides themselves, as they were years ago. But people do still bring animal skins in, and artisans do make things from them. That's how we met Rainbow Eagle Dreamer.